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Monday, July 19, 2010

Wonderful Photos - 7/2010

This is a wonderful photo because it illustrates one quality that I wish to instill in my children.
In the world today, I think one must be brave enough to take chances. The courage to face your fears head on + the determination to keep trying after a failure =  a recipe for success!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wonder What To Make

    We started out making the typical pine cone bird feeder but soon discovered that it fed much more than just the birds.

Basic materials needed:
  • Pine cone or the likes
  • Seed
  • Peanut Butter
Optional materials:

  • Something to spread peanut butter
  • Book about topic (we used Stranger in the Woods)
  • String to hang feeder
  1. Read Book
  2. Smear, paint, clump, and spread peanut butter on pine cone ( A good time to ask the children why we are using peanut butter and what the best tool for application is?)
  3. Sprinkle, stuff, and pat seeds into pine cone
  4. Ask what kind of bird they might see eating from the feeder ( this is a great opportunity to pull out a book about birds.)
  5. You can also explore the idea of other animals using the feeder. 
   Our observations lasted about a week. We noticed our bird feeder actually became a squirrel feeder. We observed the squirrel up close while it ate the pine cone. We noticed how animals use their hands as tools just as we did in making the feeder. In the end we think a sneaky rat stole the pine cone and ran away with it. Unfortunately, we did not see any birds.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Wonder What To Read?

Toot & Puddle By Holly Hobbie
A beautifully illustrated picture book about being yourself and being a true friend.

   Toot & Puddle is a simple book about two friends with different ideas for fun and adventure. In the story they demonstrate how to respect each others differences by being true to oneself while being a kind friend. After a year of separate adventures they reunite at their home in Woodcock Pocket. This book carries a wonderful message.
   Aside from the sweet story and adorable illustrations done in watercolor, many a lesson can be pulled from this content. I love a book like that! Here are some topics I plan to explore.
  •  Friendship                 
  • Seasons
  • Animals
  • Maple syrup
  • Post Cards
  • Around the world cultures
  • Calendar (months)
  • Mona Lisa , Van Gogh 
  • Cultural celebrations
  • Adventure at home
  • Hobbies 
   I know, it's incredible ! All that from a simple book about two little piggy friends.
   Love IT!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wonder What To Make

Open Ended Projects
When working with kids I like to do projects that can be done quickly and stretch out for weeks. Quick projects are great to teach a small concept before their attention is refocused onto something else. A successful project will create wonder in children. It is truly fascinating to listen to the amazing questions that occur to kids and then watch as they try and discover the answers for themselves. A very important step in critical thinking is not to give children answers but to let them discover their own answers. Unfortunately I have noticed "teaching to the test" in school does not encourage critical thinking. (But that is another story!). Here is an example of a great open ended project that can be done in 10 minutes or 2 weeks.
  Varies, I'd say 2-12. I worked with age 4
  Paper large enough to trace body
  Something to trace with
Optional Material:
  Measuring instrument
  Paint and Brushes
  Book about body (inside and out)
Vocabulary: (I worked with a 4 year old, so these are just a few words I introduced)
1. Read or explore book.
2. Trace child's body on paper.
3. Have material for child to add features.
Done! Or..... Here are just a few avenues you could explore. There are so many topics that could be covered.
*Measure the body, we used a tape measure, talked about inches, hung it on his door, and continued to measure for weeks. Compared his growth on his birthday.
* Talked about body parts, how they work. "What color is the brain?" and "How does your brain grow" were questions that a 4 year old asked.
* Painting opens a ton of topics to explore:
    Mixing colors
    Texture of paint
    Paint tools and care of tools (how to clean brushes)
* Observe facial features in mirror.
    Remind them of their observations when creating their own face on the paper.
* In the end, teamwork was needed to finish painting.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Wonderful Art – Karl Johnson

As you teach your child to hold their scissors properly and cut on the lines, you may be uncovering a world of opportunity for them. America's premier silhouette artist, Karl Johnson , started cutting at only 10 years old. Since then Karl estimates he has FREEHAND cut hundreds of thousands of silhouette images nationally, including being commissioned by Disney Hong Kong. Not only amazing but inspiring too, Karl has vision in only one eye. He is forced to see the world differently and in that wonderful, timeless silhouette art is created.

Luckily, just in time for Father's Day Karl will be cutting silhouettes by appointment @ 12053 Ventura Place in Studio City from 10 am - 2 pm. Please contact the store at 818-766-9177 for your appointment or email lauren@cutarts.com for details. And Karl will be cutting silhouettes at Cupcake in Santa Rosa. Please contact the store for an appointment 707-579-2165.